Organic Gardening News

Houseplants Safe For Dogs: Beautiful Houseplants Dogs Won’t Eat

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2020-04-10 18:00
Do you love growing houseplants but are worried that they may be toxic for Fido? Fortunately, there are quite a few houseplants dogs won’t eat, and if they do, they won’t get sick from them. Let’s explore some dog-friendly houseplants that you can grow with peace of mind. Are There Houseplants Safe for Dogs? The best-case scenario would be to place all plants, whether they are considered toxic or not, out of reach of your pets. Just because a plant is considered non-toxic doesn’t mean that it is necessarily good for your dog.  Before we get into plants that are non-toxic, you’ll definitely want to avoid the following, and if you do have them, keep them well out of reach of your pets and children:  Amaryllis Gardenia Chrysanthemum Peace Lily Cyclamen Kalanchoe Poinsettia (can be an irritant, but toxicity has been exaggerated)  Safe Indoor Plants for Dogs There are many […]

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Is Baby’s Breath Bad For Cats: Information About Gypsophila Poisoning In Cats

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2020-04-10 15:00
Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) is a common addition in flower arrangements, and especially pretty combined with roses. If you are the lucky recipient of such a bouquet and you have a cat, it probably doesn’t surprise you that your feline friend has a particular fascination with the baby’s breath. After all, plants are fun for cats, which beckons the question: is baby’s breath bad for cats? Read on to find out about the dangers of baby’s breath flowers and cats. Is Baby’s Breath Toxic to Cats? Baby’s breath, native to Eurasia, was introduced into North America for use as an ornamental, specifically in the cut flower industry. The plant readily self-sows and, as such, can now be found naturalized across Canada and into the northern United States. It is often classified as a weed due to the ease of self-propagation and hardiness. To some it might be a nasty weed, […]

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Pets And Citronella Geraniums – Is Citronella Toxic To Pets

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2020-04-10 11:00
Citronella geraniums (Pelargonium cv. ‘Citrosa’) are popular patio plants that are purported to ward off pesky insects such as mosquitoes, although no scientific evidence supports this claim. Is citronella safe for pets? If you grow scented geraniums in the Pelargonium family, be sure to keep your dogs and cats away. Scented geraniums are toxic to pets. Citronella Geranium Poisoning in Dogs and Cats Citronella geraniums have deeply lobed, green leaves and small, pinkish or lavender flowers on multiple stems. They grow 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters) tall and thrive in sunny situations. When crushed, the “mosquito” plant’s leaves smell like citronella, an essential oil cultivated from lemongrass varieties. Oil of citronella, which is a naturally occurring insect repellent, is a main ingredient in many pesticides. Many people plant the geranium in containers on the patio or places where people congregate, hoping to repel mosquitoes. It is important […]

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Natural Easter Egg Dyes: How To Grow Your Own Easter Egg Dyes

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2020-04-10 07:00
Natural dyes for Easter eggs can be found right in your backyard. Many plants that grow either wild or those you cultivate can be used to create natural, beautiful colors to transform white eggs. The recipe is simple and the colors you’ll create are subtle, pretty, and safe. Grow Your Own Easter Egg Dyes You can get plenty of natural Easter egg dyes right from your garden. The colors most of them produce may not be as intense as synthetic dyes you by in Easter egg kits, but they are even more beautiful and natural in appearance. Below are some plants you can try when dyeing eggs naturally and the colors they will produce on a white egg: Violet flowers – very pale purple Beet juice – deep pink Beet greens – pale blue Purple cabbage – blue Carrots – pale orange Yellow onions – deeper orange Spinach – pale […]

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Garden Snake Identification: What Does A Garden Snake Look Like

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2020-04-09 18:00
Along with pests and animals that cause damage, we may sometimes have to deal with snakes in the garden. Take a few minutes to think ahead in case you happen to see some type of snake in or around your planting area. This is likely, as snakes like cool, freshly turned soil and moisture. Information about garden snakes says this type is especially likely to be in your yard, or near your pond or stream. Often, several huddle together, under leaves or broken branches. Sometimes, you may see them sunning on rocks. Garden snakes are said to be the most primitive type. Keep reading to learn more about garden snakes. Garden Snake Identification It is important to be familiar with the appearance of a garden snake, so that it doesn’t frighten you. What does a garden snake look like? These small snakes are generally no more than two to three […]

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Identifying Snakes In Southern Regions – Common Snakes In South Central States

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2020-04-09 15:00
Most people harbor an unnatural fear of snakes, partly because they can’t immediately tell a venomous from a nonvenomous snake. But the threat of a snakebite is low; most snakes only bite when provoked and prefer to retreat if the option is available. Statistics show fatalities from snakebites are fewer than those from bee or wasp stings or lightning strikes. Read on to learn about some of the more commonly seen southern snake varieties in and around the home landscape. Identifying Snakes in Southern Regions Learning to identify snakes in your area can prevent undue fear and unnecessary eradication of the environmentally beneficial snakes. Even a pit viper is harmless when observed from a distance and left alone.  Southern snake varieties include the venomous copperhead, coral snake, cottonmouth, Western diamondback rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, prairie rattlesnake, western massasauga, and western pigmy rattlesnake. Nonvenomous snakes in the South include glossy snake, black […]

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What Plants Do Snakes Hate: Using Snake Repelling Plants For Gardens

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2020-04-09 11:04
We should all agree that snakes are important. They help keep those pesky rodent species in check, preventing the spread of disease and protecting our crops. However, we don’t all necessarily want them in our gardens. Snake repellents are really just “snake oil” or bogus products that don’t really work. The best methods for keeping snakes out of the garden are keeping it clutter free and planting snake repelling plants. What Plants Do Snakes Hate? Mothballs and other purchased snake repellents are not effective. The only way to keep snakes away from the home is to keep tempting habitats like rocks, wood piles, and debris away from your house. As an extra precaution, you can install anti-snake plants. There is some controversy that even these don’t work, but they can be rewarding in other ways and can’t hurt to try. Snakes gather molecules on their tongues which they then run […]

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Turtle Safe Vegetation: Growing Plants For Turtles To Eat

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2020-04-09 07:00
Maybe you have an unusual pet, one that’s more out of the ordinary than a dog or cat. For instance, what if you have a turtle for a pet? How do you care for him or her? Most importantly, what do you safely feed the turtle that is both healthy and economical? If you (or your children) have a pet turtle that you somehow acquired, you’ll want to keep it healthy and happy. According to most resources, there is a specific diet for the turtle. The good news is you can grow some of the food. Get the kids involved and learn more about properly feeding your pet turtle. Growing Plants for Turtles If you have a turtle as a pet, you might’ve noticed that he/she always seems hungry. The experts say a turtle is a “voracious eater” and “always begging for food.” Turtles are basically carnivorous (meat protein eaters) […]

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Attracting Pollinating Insects: Native Pollinators In Upper Midwest States

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2020-04-08 18:00
Pollinators in east-north-central states of the upper Midwest are an essential part of the native ecosystem. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, ants, wasps, and even flies help carry pollen from plant to plant. Many would not exist without these pollinators. For gardeners, whether you grow fruits and vegetables or you just want to support the local ecosystem, it’s important to use native plants to attract and keep pollinators. What are the Native Pollinators in Upper Midwest States? Bees are some of the most important pollinators anywhere including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa. Some of the native bees in the region include: Cellophane bees Yellow faced bees Mining bees Sweat bees Mason bees Leafcutter bees Digger bees Carpenter bees Bumblebees While all bees are important for most food growing, there are other animals and insects native to the area that pollinate plants too. These include pollinating insects like  ants, wasps, beetles, moths, and […]

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Pacific Northwest Native Pollinators: Native Northwest Bees And Butterflies

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2020-04-08 15:00
Pollinators are a crucial part of the ecosystem and you can encourage their presence by growing plants they like. To learn about some pollinators native to the northwestern region of the U.S., read on. Pacific Northwest Native Pollinators Native northwest bees are champion pollinators, buzzing as they move pollen from plant to plant in early spring to late fall, ensuring the continued growth of a wide range of flowering plants. Butterflies aren’t as effective as bees, but they still have an important role to play and they are especially drawn to plants with big, colorful blooms. Bees The obscure bumblebee is native to the West Coast, from northern Washington to southern California. Common plant hosts include: Lupine Sweet Peas Thistles Clovers Rhododendrons Willows Lilac Sitka bumblebees are common in the coastal areas of the western United States, from Alaska to California. They like to forage on: Heather Lupine Roses Rhododendrons […]

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South Central Pollinators: Native Pollinators In Texas And Surrounding States

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2020-04-08 11:00
Pollinator gardens are a wonderful way to help native pollinators flourish in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Many people recognize European honeybees, but native bees also pollinate agricultural food crops as well as maintain native plant communities that sustain wildlife with fruits, nuts, and berries. Other pollinators include hummingbirds, butterflies and moths, though they are not quite as efficient as bees. Honeybee numbers once dwindled due to colony collapse disorder, but all bees are threatened by pesticide use, loss of habitat, and disease. Local gardeners can help by incorporating pollen and nectar producing trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials into their gardens. Attracting Native Pollinators It’s important to recognize the difference between social and solitary bees when planning a pollinator garden. Social bees such as European honeybees, paper wasps, bald-faced hornets, bumblebees and yellow jackets carry their pollen to hives or nests where it is stored as food. If you see

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Bees In Hummingbird Feeder – Why Do Wasps Like Hummingbird Feeders

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2020-04-08 07:00
Do wasps like hummingbird feeders? They love the sweet nectar, and so do bees. Bees and wasps at a hummingbird feeder may be uninvited guests but remember that both are important pollinators that play a necessary role in a healthy environment. The problem is that too many bees and wasps can compete with hummers and discourage them from visiting the feeder. They can also contaminate the nectar. The good news is that there are simple ways of controlling bees in hummingbird feeders, although you may still have a few that stick around. Keeping Bees from Hummingbird Feeders Controlling hummingbird pests in feeders is sometimes necessary in order to prevent issues later. Bees and wasps at a hummingbird feeder is no different. Here are some tips for managing bees and wasps at your hummingbird feeder.  Invest in a couple of “no-insect” feeders. These feeders are designed in various ways that allow

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Milkweed Cutting Propagation: Learn About Rooting Milkweed Cuttings

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2020-04-07 18:00
If you have a butterfly garden, chances are you grow milkweed. The leaves of this native perennial plant are the only food source for caterpillars of monarch butterflies. The survival of this species hinges upon the sheer number of milkweed plants available to them. Milkweed Cutting Propagation Although it can be started from seed, milkweed cutting propagation is an alternative method for increasing the number of milkweed plants in your butterfly garden. It’s not much more complicated than taking cuttings of milkweed and rooting milkweed cuttings in a suitable medium. Follow these steps to increase your chances of successfully growing milkweed from cuttings: When to take milkweed cuttings: Mid-summer, when the stems are green and herbaceous is the ideal time to take cuttings of milkweed. It takes six to ten weeks to go from rooting milkweed cuttings to having plants ready for transplant in the garden. This allows sufficient time

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Identifying Ladybugs – Asian Vs. Native Lady Beetles

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2020-04-07 15:00
There are approximately 5,000 species of lady beetles worldwide. While most species are considered beneficial, the Asian lady beetle has earned a reputation as a nuisance bug. This non-native species invades homes and businesses in large swarms from September through November. Identifying ladybugs and understanding the behavioral differences between lady beetles can help gardeners control unwanted populations of Asian lady beetles. Asian Lady Beetle Characteristics The harlequin or multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) has its origins in Asia, but these bugs are now found worldwide. Like other species of ladybugs, the Asian lady beetle feeds upon aphids and other garden pests. When comparing Asian vs. native lady beetle behavior, the major difference is native ladybugs overwinter outdoors. While it’s easy to think Asian lady beetles come inside to escape the cold, studies have shown they are attracted to contrasting vertical stripes similar to the markings seen on rock cliffs.

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Little Bunny Fountain Grass Care: Growing Little Bunny Fountain Grass

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2020-04-07 11:00
Fountain grasses are versatile garden plants with year-round appeal. Many varieties reach 4 to 6 feet (1-2 m.) high and can spread up to 3 feet (1 m.) wide, making most types of fountain grass unsuitable choices for small spaces. However, the miniature variety called Little Bunny dwarf fountain grass is perfect for tiny areas. What is Little Bunny Grass? Little Bunny dwarf fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Little Bunny’) is a low maintenance ornamental with a compact size. This deer resistant fountain grass reaches 8 to 18 inches (20-46 cm.) in height with a spread of 10 to 15 inches (25-38 cm.). The slow growing grass is ideal for rock gardens, borders, and small perennial beds – even containers. Like other types of fountain grass, Little Bunny grows in a clumping, fountain-like formation. The ribbon-shaped leaves are dark green throughout the growing season and turn russet gold in the fall.

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Keeping Bluebirds Nearby: How To Attract Bluebirds In The Garden

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2020-04-07 07:00
We all love seeing bluebirds appear in the landscape in late winter or early springtime. They’re always a harbinger of warmer weather that is usually just around the corner. Keeping this beautiful, native bird around is important. How do we continue attracting bluebirds? Read on to learn more. What Do Bluebirds Need? If you’re in the eastern half of the U.S., you can encourage bluebirds to stay a little longer. Ready and available supplies of food and water are essential, as is the right nesting spot. Eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) have no issue with moving into a tree that was previously prepared in past years by a woodpecker or other bird. As secondary cavity nesters, they look for hollowed out spots in trees. The male may also choose a naturally existing tree cavity, leaving the female to build a cup-shaped nest where eggs can rest in protection. As trees with

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Domestic Pigs In The Garden: How To Prevent Pig Rooting Damage

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2020-04-06 18:06
Of all pests that can assault a garden, a less common one is pigs. In some states, escaped domestic pigs have become feral and run around disruptively. Yet another scenario can simply be a neighbor’s pig (or multiple pigs) deciding your landscape looks infinitely tastier than their own, leading to pig rooting damage in your garden. If you’ve ever had to handle pigs in the garden, you know it’s no joke and might be wondering how to keep pigs out of the garden. Pig Garden Problems Pigs are highly intelligent but what really motivates them is food. They spend a good portion of their day eating or looking for things to eat. This is where your garden comes into play. Imagine being pigs in a pen. Although getting three square meals a day and plenty of water, they can see and smell a cornucopia of edible delights just beyond the

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Raising Pigs At Home: Is Keeping Backyard Pigs Possible

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2020-04-06 15:02
In recent years, raising backyard livestock has gained the interest of many urban dwellers. Whether raising animals for meat or as a family pet, there are certainly a few issues that must be addressed. While smaller animals, like chickens or rabbits, are popular choices, others may prefer to think even further outside of the box. Keeping backyard pigs as pets is just one example of those who have started raising larger animals in small spaces. Raising Pigs at Home For many, backyard pig farming is worth consideration. Unlike many livestock animals, pigs require less space to be raised. This is especially attractive to those wishing to keep pet pigs in the backyard or for homesteaders on small farms who wish to raise their own meat. Before keeping backyard pigs, there are several factors that will need to be considered. Raising pigs at home can be difficult for a variety of

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Benefits Of Opossums: Are Possums Good To Have Around

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2020-04-06 11:00
America’s only marsupial tends to have a bad reputation. Perhaps, it’s the opossum’s appearance and nocturnal lifestyle that makes this creature so unappealing. After all, spotting a large rat-like creature with beady eyes and a scavenger’s appetite in a beam of light is just plain creepy. Are Possums Good to Have Around? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Compared to other types of wildlife, they are very helpful. Opossums not only play an essential role in the ecosystem, but they can also be a valuable asset to your garden, in spite of the fact that most people are quick to control their numbers.   Opossums, sometimes called possum, benefits your garden by ridding it of small insects and pests. As omnivores, opossums consume a variety of foods. This includes the beetles, slugs, and snails which damage garden plants. These nocturnal creatures also consume plant matter. In general, the opossum prefers fallen or

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Indoor Plants For Reptiles – Growing Reptile Safe Plants Indoors

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2020-04-06 07:00
Including plants in a terrarium with reptiles adds a beautiful living touch. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but the reptiles and houseplants will benefit each other in your mini ecosystem. It is important to only include non-toxic reptile safe plants in case your terrarium critters nibble on them! Let’s take a look at some great choices of plants for a terrarium that includes reptiles. We will also explore how they are mutually beneficial to each other.    Indoor Plants for Reptiles It is especially important to know which houseplants are toxic if you have any reptiles or other animals that are herbivores or omnivores. Get to know exactly which reptile you will have in your terrarium because the tolerance of ingesting certain plants can vary depending on the species of plant, and the animal. Check with wherever you purchased your reptile and ask about this information to be absolutely safe. 

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